RSS

Author Archives: Sockymon

About Sockymon

...but, then, why shouldn't I have a remarkable tail?

Wrestlemania Triangle

center-logo2

Death, taxes and an annual Wrestlemania are the three constants of this universe and this year’s WWE spectacular is just around the corner. Coming from the Levi’s Stadium, the build up to this year’s show has been a little scrappy, with less of the epic feel that the 4 hour supershow normally commands. A part time champion is headlining against a relatively unproven newcomer, which might have taken away some of the must-see impact of the event. However, now that the WWE Network makes it easier than ever for fans to catch the show, plus the many hours of pre-match hype that is running all week, I don’t think there will be a decrease in the number of eyes that will be watching. In fact, despite the grumbling and mumbling of bloggers and podcasters alike, I think the actual matches themselves will be much stronger than the last few episodes Monday Night Raw would suggest.

The Pre-Show

For some reason, a four hour show isn’t quite long enough for all these great matches and unfortunately some of the WWE Superstars will have to contend with going on as part of the warm up act. This year the WWE Tag Team Titles will be defended by Tyson Kidd and Antonio Cesaro against The Uso Brothers, Los Matadores and A New Day. The WWE tag team scene is pretty stale at the moment, so it is hardly surprising that the title defence has been bumped off the man card. Squeezing so many teams into one match means that this is likely to be a spot-fest, with each team taking turns to showcase their moves then a hasty roll up to conclude the match. I expect the champions to retain, though there are rumours that the Uso Brothers may be subbed out due to injury. Unless a surprising new team is introduced, I can’t see this having an influence on the outcome though.

The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal was introduced last year to fill the void left by the regular Money in the Bank Ladder Match, that has been given its own Pay Per View show now. The match itself was good fun last year, though after Antonio Cesaro won, very little was done to take advantage of the interest that it created in the Swiss Superstar. As such, his victory was soon forgotten. In case anyone thought that things would be different this year, the battle royal has now been dropped from the main show, which is a travesty. The remaining matches must be expected to run a little too long, which may be good news. If Sheamus is indeed returning in this match, then he must be a favourite to win, with Curtis Axel and Damien Sandow also contenders.

US Title Match – Rusev (c.) vs. John Cena

RusevCena

Pitting the All American good guy John Cena against the unfeeling Russian monster Rusev has more than a whiff of Rocky IV about it. After their last PPV encounter, Rusev left Cena lying face down on the mat, so it’s taken a few convoluted plot twists to create enough of a reason why Cena should still be in contention for the US Title. Nobody has been able to pin Rusev or make him tap out, so if Superman Cena can’t do it, nobody can, at least not on the current roster. It will be a close run thing, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Rusev walk out of Wrestlemania with his championship still around his waist.

Tag Match – AJ Lee/Paige vs. The Bella Twins

Bellas

Having this match on the main card but the Battle Royal on the pre-show is a crime. I’m not expecting a technical masterclass, and since the WWE Diva’s Title isn’t being defended this Wrestlemania, the stakes for this are very low indeed. There are much better women wrestlers in their developmental league NXT if the WWE wanted to showcase them, but instead we have these four. The Bella Twins will probably win, but I’ll be off getting another round of snacks from the fridge so I won’t see it happen.

Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker

BrayWyatt

Last year, the world of pro wrestling was left shocked at The Undertaker’s defeat by Brock Lesnar – bringing to an end his unbeaten streak of Wrestlemania matches. The build to his return has been unusual, in that The undertaker hasn’t made a single appearance on WWE television. He’s not been seen on screen for an entire year, so whilst he has certainly been training for this match, he is a year older and his war wounds have had another year to sink in. Luckily Bray Wyatt gives a better promo than he does an in-ring performance, so he’s been more than capable of throwing challenges out to the camera with nobody else to work against. The smart money says that The Undertaker is hanging on until next year’s Wrestlemania in his home state of Texas, but if a broken old man shuffles into the ring this weekend, there might not be an appetite to see him wrestle again.

Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins

RollinsOrton

Take two unlikable guys and make them fight – whoever gets beaten up most doesn’t matter, everyone will enjoy seeing it happen. Since Rollins is slightly more smug than Orton, there is probably a little bit more enjoyment to be had from seeing him getting taken down. Randy Orton may be portrayed as the fan favourite here, but he embodies his in-ring persona of ‘The Viper’ so well, it’s tricky to get behind him when you know it won’t be long before he’s kicking pensioners in the head again. Whether Rollins wins or loses, he still has an ‘anytime/anywhere’ Money in the Bank contract that he can cash in and get himself a WWE World Title match. Doing so tonight might complicate the main even picture, but what better time to go for gold than at Wrestlemania?

Intercontinental Title Ladder Match – Wade Barrett (c.) vs. Daniel Bryan,

Stardust, Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, Luke Harper and R-Truth

ICLadder

The Intercontinental Title has been through some hard times, with transitional champions and poor billing on PPV cards. However, this might well be about to change. Historically the belt has normally been held by a technical wrestler, with a high work rate, whereas the World Title has been held by a bigger, brawling style wrestler with a larger than life persona. The seven competitors in this match all fall into the former category and so it is almost certain that the best in-ring action of the night will take place here. Although the build up to the match has been mostly comedic, the end result is going to be nothing of the sort. Since Daniel Bryan was taken out of the World Title race, I am confident that he’ll be taking the Intercontinental Title home with him and keeping hold of it or a long time to come.

Sting vs. Triple H

HHHSting

The novelty of seeing Sting on WWE TV will take a long time to wear off, but after decades in the business he really deserves a moment in the sun and a Wrestlemania payday. Whether it is too little, too late and the quality of the match will suffer is yet to be seen. Hopefully Sting has spent the last few months in the gym and he can finally wrestle without a T-shirt on again. Some might say that Sting should be the one facing The Undertaker, but I think Hunter will get a much better match out of Sting. Since Triple H plays the boss of the company, it makes it really easy for the fans to know who to get behind; the anti-authority figure Sting! Hopefully there won’t be too much outside interference, but Sting will get the win, with a Scorpion Deathlock in the centre of the ring, and they’ll bring the house down.

WWE World Title Match – Brock Lesnar (c.) vs. Roman Reigns

LesnarReigns

This feud for the WWE World Title has not ran smoothly. On paper, the young fresh faced star in the making Roman Reigns should have been embraced as a fan favourite, but he’s been getting booed by audiences. The brutal heel, Brock Lesnar should be reviled by crowds but he gets cheers. Part of the reason may be because Lesnar, the ex MMA champion, brings a sense of legitimacy to the role – fans really believe that he’s as tough as he says he is. Reigns has been pushed to the top quickly. Very quickly. Too quickly. That makes fans push back, they don’t like to be told who to cheer for, even if they are a blood relative of former World Champion, The Rock. Reigns has a small arsenal of moves in his repertoire and doesn’t have a proven track record of being able to carry long matches. Unless there are plans for outside interference to prolong the match, this won’t be a dragged out affair. Maybe Seth Rollins will cash in his Money in the Bank contract… maybe Lesnar’s manager Paul Heyman will switch allegiances… maybe The Undertaker will come for revenge are losing to Brock last Wrestlemania… However, despite all the arm chair bookers trying to second guess the result, the only way we’ll know for sure is by watching the match on Sunday night.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 27, 2015 in Wrestling

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Hawaiian Rollercoaster

I like Disney movies, I think its fair to say. As I grew up I loved the characters, the colours, the music and the adventures that typified the output from the House of Mouse. At some point between then and now my tastes became a little more sophisticated and I lost touch with those movies and the stories they told.

To be fair, they are children’s tales, made predominantly for them and those that usher them into cinemas, or buy DVD discs for them to watch at home. As I’ve got older, I’ve recently found myself gravitating back towards the family friendly films from Disney. Maybe because I don’t always want to be presented with some dark, impenetrable art-house flick, maybe because life is tiring and I just want to be sure of a singsong and a happy ending.

Lilo and Stitch is one of my favourite movies, as well as coincidentally being a Disney movie. It has lots of the anarchic slapstick humour that I used to love in Tom and Jerry cartoons. It also tells a really good story about how it can take a while to figure out where you fit into the world around you. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve watched and re-watched it, and to be honest, I don’t think I was ever keeping score.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 10, 2015 in Inspiration, Movies

 

Tags: , , ,

Hot Cuppa

I like coffee, though I wouldn’t call myself an expert. I understand that there is an art to understanding the best blends and the right way to serve it up, but I like having a hot drink that wakes me up in a morning.

I’m not a fan of the insipid, milky stuff that gets handed out at most high street chains. I prefer to taste the coffee rather than the stuff that’s been added to it. However, I’m not going to complain too much if it’s 7am in the morning, I’m stood on a train station platform and there’s nothing else available.

I try to keep my afternoon consumption down, ideally decaffeinated if I can get it and I really need a hot drink. None of this is to say I’m anti-tea, which is a more than adequate alternative. Just that I tend to associate coffee with getting ready to go do something and tea with sitting back to do nothing. Except maybe eat some cake…

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 6, 2015 in Food

 

Tags: ,

Sixth Time’s a Charm

I watched Doctor Who on TV religiously as a child. As a consequence this means that I’m more familiar with Colin Baker than Tom Baker, but it hasn’t stopped me from venturing backwards and forwards along The Doctor’s timeline over the years. It was a shame that Colin wasn’t willing/able to film his regeneration scene at the time, so I’m glad to hear that Big Finish will be producing an audio adventure in order to fill in the gaps leading up to Sylvester McCoy grasping the reins.

I don’t mind that it’s taken so long for this retrospective bit of story telling to be told. After all, I waited patiently to see Paul McGann become John Hurt so long gaps between points of continuity aren’t exactly new to the world of this time travelling face changer.

The Big Finish stories provide very high quality fan service, creating long story arcs and a focus on minutia that a 45 minute, prime time TV show isn’t really geared up for. Nowadays the personality of the grumpy Peter Capaldi isn’t all that different from the brash, arrogant Sixth Doctor but hopefully the show will keep it’s mainstream appeal. However, when I want to geek-out for a few hours, I can always pop my headphones on.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 5, 2015 in Sci Fi, TV

 

Tags: , , ,

Still Forceful

I’m looking forward to the new Star Wars movies. Unlike some folks, I don’t feel that there was anything tragic about the three prequels that were released. I’ve sat through far worse movies and even if you don’t like the stories, you can’t beat the fabulous soundtracks!

Whether the new films and their spin offs will appease dyed in the wool fans of the original series, only time will tell. A new cast and new writers should ensure that, at the very least, the next few years will provide us with some exciting, sci-fi blockbusters. Oh, and lots and lots of promotional merchandise.

I remember when Return of the Jedi was released at the cinema. It was a long time before I saw it on the big screen, but I avidly collected a book full of stickers until I had my own account of the movie. It was the first sticker album I completed – even though I didn’t immediately realise they were self adhesive stickers, so I glued the first half of the album into the pages. Still, you live and learn…

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 4, 2015 in Books, Movies, Sci Fi

 

Tags: , ,

Sorted Hats

I’ve been working my way through the Harry Potter series of books over the last year or so. Finally I’ve begun “Deathly Hallows,” so the end is in sight. It’s almost a shame that there is so little left. At first I was reading these books out of curiosity, then somewhere in the middle it was out of a sense of obligation (I’d started… so I was duty bound to finish).

Now that the films have all been shown on TV many times, my brain is fast forwarding to the conclusion because I’ve seen what’s going to happen so often. Not to worry though, I can put my reading-brain into a lower gear and force those images to the dark corners add the back. The place where I hide things that don’t need to be seen again.

Heading been to a Catholic school, the witches and wizards of Hogwarts aren’t a million miles away from the nuns and monks that I remember. As for their dusty books of ancient magic and mumbo-jumbo, well… they speak for themselves. However, for now I’ll see Harry and his chums to the end of their adventures and then the next story, of another band of heroes, will come calling.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 3, 2015 in Books, Inspiration

 

Tags: , , ,

Across The Water

Since Helsinki is conveniently located in the South of Finland, it means that a short hop by boat can get you to Stockholm, Sweden. The overnight Silja Line cruise ships that travel back and forth between the two cities are reasonably priced and are a great way to enjoy two major European capitals within the same holiday. Having made this trip before, the Sock Mistress and I knew what we were signing ourselves up for, though this time we shelled out for a slightly larger cabin, with complementary mini-bar and a window with a sea view. The awe inspiring ‘all you can eat’ buffet is clearly a challenge that many people are more than happy to take on, but the sheer scale of food that is served up just puts me off. If someone is offering more than my body-weight in fish, meat and cheeses – as well as hot and cold running beers/wine – then I’m afraid I just have to back off. Luckily there are several restaurants on the ship to choose from, including ones that focus on quality not just quantity.

Despite having been to Stockholm a few times now, I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface of the city. A quick trip around the Old Town and the more tourist friendly areas soon brought lunch time beckoning, and the Stockholm City Theatre happens to have a very handy café hidden away on its top floor. The views from here are great and whilst they may not be ‘picturesque’ they do a great job of emphasising just how chaotic Stockholm traffic can be in the middle of the day. To think the ‘Getaway in Stockholm’ series of films were made here… hard to imagine anyone getting their car up to those kinds of speeds.

The weather kept threatening to become unpleasant, but it was never enough to stop us from sitting outside. Koloni is a fabulous café that serves organic cakes and excellent coffee, it also happens to be helpfully situated right across from where the shuttle bus was due to pick us up from the city centre and take us back to the terminal. After refuelling with some gorgeous chocolate cake and vanilla sauce, it was time to depart and set out for Finland again.

Despite some rather thick fog (and the constant horn tooting because of it) the journey back was enjoyable, though tiring. It’s hard work wandering around all those tax-free shops on board, looking through the shelves stacked high with exotic spirits and bizarrely shaped bottles of after-shaves/perfumes. Luckily, by the time Helsinki reappeared on the horizon, the weather had cleared and a hot, sunny day was waiting for our arrival.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 5, 2014 in Holidays